by carl wilson

From the Dept. of Be Careful What You Wish For

Continuing her favourite-young-thing-of-eccentric-old-men trajectory (so far including Bob Dylan, Woody Allen and Bill Murray), Scarlett Johansson announces that she is going to make an album of her own covers of Tom Waits songs. Now, Zoilus is as charmed by Ms. Johansson as all the other old weirdos are, and I can't quibble with the excellence of the decision - better this than Scarlett Raps with Snoop Dogg or Scarlett Johansson and Robert Crumb: Ghost World Blues Revisited or Naked Snack: Scarlett Whispers the Best of Bill Burroughs. On the other hand, below is a clip of the only time I've heard Johansson sing, from Lost in Translation, and unless she was deliberately karaokeizing her singing to add versimilitude, which I wouldn't put past her ... well, let's hope, for Tom's sake, that that's exactly what she was doing.

Incidentally, the way Murray cocks his head and softens his eyes at Johansson as he adds the backup vocal - "special" - in that clip just kills me. It encapsulates the tender, lost hopelessness, the sensitivity and delusion of his infatuation with her in that role so completely. Did I ever recommend Joshua Clover's essay on that flick, Another Green World, to you? Very worthwhile corrective to the misreadings of the film. (Note: that link is a .doc file.)

Speaking of Snoop Dogg, his cameo on Weeds last night, extemporaneously extolling the virtues of Mary Louise Parker's homegrown in a rap titled MILF Weed (which gives her green a perfectly inappropriate brand name), has to have been one of the great cameos in TV history.

Waits's own new collection, a three-cd set of rarities called Orphans, is due out in one month, but reportedly has leaked this week.

| Posted by zoilus on Thursday, October 19 at 5:37 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)

 

COMMENTS

That essay to which you refer is actually co-authored by Joshua Clover and Louis-Georges Schwartz, a film professor at the University of Iowa.

Posted by jane on October 31, 2006 12:53 AM

 

 

well, if that really is scarlett doing "summertime" (see stereogum), colour me pleasantly surprised.

Posted by brian on October 21, 2006 10:29 PM

 

 

You're right, Peli, that Bill Murray's connection to SJ is different than Allen's or Dylan's apparent interest, although her casting in the position of the object of his longing certainly rhymes, let's say, with its real-life counterparts. In reality, though, it's unclear whether Johansson got along well with Murray and Coppola in the making of LiT - wasn't she kind of snubbed in somebody's thank-yous at the Oscars?

And quit rubbing your youth in, whippersnapper. Just for the record, I am not remotely as old as those other old weirdos.

Posted by zoilus on October 20, 2006 6:54 PM

 

 

Also, in the the name of diversity, I'd like to note that I'm totally into Scarlett Johansson and not yet of legal drinking age.

Posted by Peli Grietzer on October 20, 2006 6:07 PM

 

 

It makes a kind of sense, the Waits songs, with her throaty voice and everything. Actually I have a feeling it's genesis was probably someone making a joke comparison.

Does Bill Murray have some connection to Johansson beyond acting the part of someone infatuated with her, or were you talking about the collective consciousness aspect of it, rather than the particulars of this or that's eccentric old man interest in her?

Posted by Peli Grietzer on October 20, 2006 6:03 PM

 

 

"...so far including Bob Dylan, Woody Allen and Bill Murray"

Don't forget Billy Bob Thornton. And Clint Eastwood? She's built a career of playing the muse to sad-faced boomers. Taken out of chronology, Ghost World can be seen as a subversion of this role.

Posted by Brendan on October 20, 2006 8:30 AM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson